See this post for the intro to this series of posts about rules.
RULE TEN: “We’re breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.” (John Cage)
Everyone knows that if you put “X” at the end of a brand name, it automatically makes it sound enigmatic and cool. From now on, I shall be known as Bolam X.
Not working? Okay, never mind. It is also used to denote an unknown quantity or quality.
I think what John Cage was referring to what is also called the “happy accident”. As I said in my previous post, I had the idea for No Glove Lost a few years ago, and although similar things have been done before, it feels like a bit of unfinished business. So, I decided to get back on Horse X and complete Project X. And now I’m waiting for Accident X.
I saw a television interview with film director David Lynch where he discusses the breaking of one of the golden rules of filmmaking.
I’m going to have to paraphrase because I can’t find a clip of the actual interview, but it goes like this: (David Lynch has a very distinctive voice and it helps if you hear it in his tone.)
“[Director’s Name] asked me ‘David, can you really not cross the line?’. I said of course you can. You’re the director, you can do anything you like. You can’t cut it together, though.”
I was introduced to the concept of crossing-the-line in a video workshop given by Jason Budge in 2001. Briefly, it can be illustrated by the idea of filming someone walking along a road. You can shoot them from one side, the front or the back. However, you can’t shoot them from the other side of the road as it will confuse the audience seeing them walking in the opposite direction.
This supports what I always say, which is you can break any of the rules, but don’t do it for the sake of it. Rules and guidelines exist for one very good reason, they work. At least most of the time.
One of my own rules is don’t repeat what someone else has done.
I really don’t know what I’m doing with this project, but I conceived it and what I do know is that I’m doing it. However, unlike the bland emulsion of homogenised mediocrity that is ITV’s the X Factor, I will be taking my lead from John Cage and Sister Corita Kent, breaking my own rules and leaving plenty of room for X quantities.
As I keep saying, I don’t like rules or manifestos, so here are some un-rules for my No Glove Lost project:
Un-rule #1 – It’s not a daily project. Or it might be.
Un-rule #2 – Only gather gloves on normal routes required by work or social commitments. Or not.
Un-rule #3 – Don’t go purposefully looking for them. Or do.
Un-rule #4 – Don’t try to out-do any of the other glovespotters. It’s not a competition. Or maybe it is.
Un-rule #X – Break any of the un-rules if you feel like it. Or not.
I hope that’s clear.
Between 22nd September 2013 and 20th March 2014 (winter in the northern hemisphere), I will be photographing the gloves in-situ, and collecting them for the currently unknown Purpose X.
So, in X Factor parlance, I’m raising my game, taking it to the next level and giving it 110%.
Until I’ve nailed it. Stay tuned…